Monday, April 2, 2012

new Book + new Project from Alabama Chanin

Oooh, I am so excited to share something I've been cooking up!  At this time of year do you start dreaming of sewing yourself clothes?  Wouldn't it be nice to merge your quilty/crafty self with the style you wear?  I've been feeling that way.  My closet feel rather "ho hum" though my style is anything but.  So... along comes a new book by Natalie Chanin.

Alabama Studio Sewing + Design

Alabama Studio Sewing + Design is Natalie's third book from craft book dynasty STC Craft/Melanie Falick.  Each gorgeous, clothbound volume is hardbound and replete with fantastic photography.  I've enjoyed Alabama Stitch Book, which comes with that bloomers stencil I've used in several projects.  And I still think that first book is an excellent place to start with lots of bite-sized projects.

inside Alabama Studio Sewing + 
Design

But this new book - this new book is The Book for making clothes a la Alabama Chanin.  Take a look at the table of contents.

inside Alabama Studio Sewing + Design

Alabama Studio Sewing + Design goes into a lot of detail on Natalie's basic methods for garment construction (chapters 1-3).  It's great how she uses both photographs and illustrations to teach these techniques.

inside Alabama Studio Sewing + Design

Chapter 4 illustrates all of the basic bodies that make up an Alabama Chanin wardrobe from tops to dresses to skirts and accessories.  There are also lots of new variations made up with seriously chic photography throughout.  Even with plain organic cotton jersey, Alabama Chanin style has those little hand-stitched details that I love.  Because everything is hand stitched.  Every seam.  Everything.

inside Alabama Studio Sewing + Design

Chapters 5-7 detail how to embellish garments in this style with beads, sequins, embroidery, quilting, reverse applique and applique.  Again, all by hand.  Swoon!  This book has more examples of different embellishment options and new embellishment options than any other Alabama Chanin book.  It's truly breathtaking.

my favorite "fabric map"

I adored chapter 8, where Natalie unveils "Fabric Maps".  Seven incredible fabric surfaces are photographed close-up alongside text and a hand drawn map "showing exactly how to create the fabrics, including the placement of every stitch, applique, and bead" (pg. 117).  This is exactly the type of detail I crave.  I've been smitten by "Natalie's Dream" above, though I don't think I'm ready for such an advanced project just yet.

gorgeous details

The last chapter is photographed like a runway fashion show - over the top fabulousness layered on piece by piece.  If you weren't already overwhelmed by all the possibilities, this chapter will surely do you in.  When I came across this page there was no hesitation - I knew I needed to make this dress.

And, in fact, I will be!

The gears have already been set in motion with supplies soon to be on their way.  After all, I certainly don't have the cast-off t-shirts in the house to supply enough jersey to make a dress!  Just how I narrowed in on what I'd need is quite a tale, so I'm going to save that for tomorrow.  And, psst, I'll also have a coupon you can use should you fancy an Alabama Chanin project too!  If you can't wait till then, head on over to Alabama Chanin Studio Style to get a head-start now.  It's a lovely lot of options!

Noted:  I'm updating my Books page with Alabama Studio Sewing + Design and a few other books I've enjoyed lately.  Please let me know if there's a particular sewing book that's knocked your socks off to date!  I'd love to take a look.

17 comments:

  1. Years ago I tore a picture of a knit dress out of a magazine (at a Drs office -- shhhh don't tell). A dress that was similar to the one in your last photo.... It still hangs on my inspiration board and someday I will try to make it. Maybe that day is coming sooner than I thought. :)

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  2. I can see why this book inspires you! These are incredible images. I look forward to seeing your new long-term project!

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  3. Looking forward to seeing your new wardrobe!

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    1. Haha,one dress, Katy. Just baby steps here! But, maybe someday a wardrobe. Anything could happen!

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  4. Looks like a good book! Can't wait to see what you make from it =D

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  5. this looks great rachel! i expect you will have a new wardrobe by june??

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  6. I just had a look myself and started drooling!! I love this style and can't wait to try it. I have written them in my wish list. Looking forward to seeing what you make. Right, off to sort my wardrobe for a revamp!

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  7. I'm looking forward to your fabric choice tale...hoping you can point me to a reliable way to buy knit on the internet...so many versions, some of which feel bad in person. There's just no way to know until you recieve them....

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  8. I love books like that , they inspire you and drive you till you actually dig in and make something!! I cant wait to see your finished dress

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  9. I'm drooling .... This book is on my 'want' list. It's on the top of the list. Maybe for Mother's Day.

    margie

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  10. it is very beautiful and interesting!

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  11. Being a garment sewer I must encourage you to make yourself some beautiful and unique items to wear. I love the practicality of garment sewing and I bet you will as well. Express yourself:) Wear your creativity on your sleeve-lol

    Stop by if you need any tips along the way

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  12. The books from Alabama Studio are so wonderful ~ I have the first one and really like it.
    I went to your book page and you've got some great books there too ~ have you checked out Zakka Style by Rashida Coleman-Hale? It a great book with lots of fun projects.

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    1. I have that one on request from the library. I agree - looks great from what I've seen!

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  13. WOW. What a fabulous book Rachel!!!! omg I am very intrugued. Thank you for showing it off!
    ~Monika

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  14. I just bought the book and I am super in love with pretty much everything in there! I am making a short skirt right now as my first project. What is that about that coupon?!!! i am interested!

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    1. I bet they'll still honor it if you ask!

      If you're considering an Alabama Chanin project of your own, definitely get a set of swatch cards. It's just not worth investing in one of these delicious projects without being certain. And if you do order color cards, mention "Stitched in Color" in the comments of your order to receive a coupon for $20 off your next order of $100 or more at at Alabama Chanin. That makes your color cards free if you go back for a DIY kit! Which I hope you get to do.

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